let kids watch beauty and the beast

I Homeschool to Keep Christ in All We Do

I’m Christian. It shouldn’t be a surprise that our faith is a large part of why we homeschool.

Christian homeschooling

When I say I homeschool to keep Christ in all we do, I don’t mean that we pepper Scripture verses throughout the lessons. I mean that I try to keep my teaching spirit filled.I try to model love, patience, gentleness and grace. And for all the times I fail (in a day . . . in an hour!), I try to model humility as I apologize and try again. My goal is to take them alongside me and teach them, here a little, there a little, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10). It is a gentle approach that builds a little each day and focuses more on character than on worksheets.

I try to find books that are factual, that tell the story of our history, our literature and our world from a basis in truth. That doesn’t always mean that it is overtly Christian. But as we’re reading about Jamestown and they are getting caught up with the hero John Smith, I ask them now and again to stop and to think. He’s a hero because he helped save a colony that became a part of our national heritage and our family’s pesonal heritage. We have family buried there. Victims of a native attack. But these settlers were on their land and these settlers did not always behave in the most Christlike manner. I want them to know that side of history. Because not all of our heroes always acted heroic. And not all of the church always acted Christ-like.

When we read a novel, I do not hold myself to the classic list of great Christian books. We do not look for Christ where he isn’t. But we do look closely at the characters and their motivations. What does the author hold up as good? What is evil? Everyone has flaws, but do the characters work to improve or overcome their flaws or do they work to accept them? I view literature as the first opportunity to introduce the philosophies of our world, to analyze them and to compare them to Christ’s teaching. All their lives, they will be inundated with messages from our culture. I strive to protect them from some of it, to be sure. I strive even more to teach them to evaluate and discern.

For science, we now have a purchased textbook, largely because I needed a break from creating my own curriculum. But I still try to supplement that with quality books from the library and real life exploring in the woods, on the prairie, at the pond and under the majesty of the night sky. We roll over logs, dig in the dirt, follow tracks in the snow all to catch just a glimpse of the breadth of this creation we are all a part of.

I try to introduce them, a little at a time, to this God we worship. And then support them in their growth, challenging them, reassuring them, comforting them and helping them to grow as much as I can. But with each step of the way, I try to let go just a little more and let them take those first wobbly steps of faith, moving away from me and toward their Creator.

This is part of the Blogging Through the Alphabet Challenge, where I am sharing some homeschool encouragement, from A to Z! Check out what I’ve written so far!

A is for Adventure
B is for Boredom
C is for Christ
D is for Daydreaming
E is for Every day
F is for Failure
G is for Grow
H is for Homework
I is for Impromptu field trips
J is for Just enough
K is for Kindle their fire
L is for Liberty

Also check out the Homeschool Nook Link Up!

let kids watch beauty and the beast

Free Garden Unit Study Download

Today, I am offering all my readers a free e-book: Developing Christian Character Through Gardening.   Just click to open, and feel free to share the link to this free resource with your friends!  I only ask that you link to this entry rather than directly to the download so I can get “paid” through the small amount of traffic that might generate!  Thanks! And while you are planning your garden, consider learning a little about the honeybee with Share the Buzz: A free lesson guide about honeybees!

Developing Christian Character Through(1)-min

When Jesus taught, he often used object lessons drawn from the everyday experiences of His audience: drawing water from a well, making bread, a wedding celebration, the harvest, etc. These experiences were an integral part of the culture of Jesus’ day, giving His listeners practical examples of the spiritual principles He was teaching. Today, however, even such simple tasks as making bread or sowing seeds can be as foreign to children as the spiritual lessons they were intended to illustrate.

This unit focuses on how Christian character is developed through studying the parable of the sower. Children are given an opportunity to help plant a garden and tend it through the harvest, while the parent takes time to draw spiritual applications from the work being done, “here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) Although the foundation of this lesson rests on the parable of the sower found in Mark chapter 4, take some time before each session in the garden to reflect on what you will be doing and an appropriate verse to guide your children toward a more spiritual discussion.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy gardening with your children!

let kids watch beauty and the beast

The quest for a bible

I stand in Family Christian, perusing the bibles, admitting defeat.  Defeat because what I want isn’t here, I know that.  It never has been and it likely never will be.  The closest I ever came to what I want was at Sam’s Club, of all places, but that one opportunity came and slipped away.

I look at the bibles and cannot decide whether to be amused or impressed.  I pause for a moment on the Women of Color Study Bible.  Clearly not for me.  The very thought of a bible existing that is “clearly not for me” lingers in my mind as I ponder the American Patriot’s Bible.  I wonder about the various women’s bibles and why none have ever attracted my interest.

So many titles, so many choices.  I am a bit overwhelmed when I notice a title that seems out of place:  The Case for Christ.  Mis-shelved?  No, it is an actual bible, edited by Lee Strobel.

I can’t decide exactly what I think of all the titles for a single book.  A single book which was written to all of us, now continually rewritten, retranslated, repackaged and remarketed to increasingly focused “niche” markets.

A single book, written to unite us, now seems to segregate us into individual markets.  The Sportsman’s Bible, the Policeman’s Bible, the Keepsake Bride’s Bible.  All of a sudden, the Bible is reminding me of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, except that it is the same material.  The same material repackaged, with new supplemental material.

I finally settle on The Archeological Study Bible.  I have been looking at it for awhile, intrigued by the promise of archeological and cultural references.  I have picked it up several times, but this evening I have admitted defeat and take my selection to the counter.

Because I know what I want.  I want something of a family bible.  A large book with large print to sit impressively on my dining room table as we read it together.  An illustrated book.  Beautifully illustrated.

What I want has existed in the past.  The Dore Bible is an excellent example.  Imagine how the mind of a child could be stimulated pouring over beautiful illustrations like this:

And how his mind would be drawn into the story.  Art that does not merely illustrate, but captivates.

The 1846 Illuminated Bible (an audio introduction will start) is the one I almost purchased.  With over 1600 detailed illustrations, it is something to behold.  It has something to draw each member of our family in as we read together.

But even the reproduction runs close to $300, and the originals in the thousands.  A family bible should be something the children are allowed to touch.  To take to their rooms.  To refer to throughout the day.

Apparently my niche market isn’t quite large enough to justify the publishing costs of such an impressive volume.  But wouldn’t it be lovely…